Today I had an adorable and wiggly toddler in front of me at Mass. My whole family enjoyed watching him. But I also noticed the anxious look on his mom’s face about whether he was being disruptive. It wasn’t long ago when I was that mom. I mean, I still worry about my kids misbehaving in church, but now they are old enough to understand and deal with consequences if they do act unruly. Toddlers are harder and I had a difficult time when they were that age deciding whether to take them to church or not, and if I did, how to keep them from bothering everyone around us. So obviously, I felt for this mother because it always seems your child is the loudest, when it really doesn’t appear that way to the rest of people around you at all. Then I remembered this little ditty a parish printed for their parishioners and think it is close to perfect: TO THE PARENTS OF OUR YOUNG CHILDREN, MAY WE SUGGEST… Relax! God put the wiggle in children; don’t feel you have to suppress it in God’s house. All are welcome! Sit toward the front where it is easier for your little ones to see and hear what’s going on at the altar. They tire of seeing the backs of other’s heads. Quietly explain the parts of the Mass and actions of the priest, altar servers, choir etc. Sing the hymns, pray and voice the responses. Children learn liturgical behavior by copying you. If you have to leave Mass with your child, feel free to do so, but please come back. As Jesus said “Let the children come to me.” Remember that the way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they respond to the church, to God, and to one another. Let them know that they are at home in this house of worship. Please let your child use the reverse side of this card to draw and doodle. TO OTHER MEMBERS OF OUR PARISH The presence of children is a gift to the church and they are a reminder that our parish is growing. Please welcome our children and give a smile of encouragement to their parents. If you see a parent struggling, please offer to help them! Source: http://faithinourfamilies.com/2014/07/02/for-parents-with-young-kids-at-mass/
Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category
I haven’t been to a retreat since my confirmation classes. Scratch that–I’ve never been to a retreat, because I missed the one that my confirmation class went on together. And now I regret that. And it’s something that I need to make a priority because I know it is a valuable experience. And there are many great retreat choices out there. Yet if I ever get the chance to go on a woman’s Emmaus retreat, it will be a must for me to go because the Emmaus retreats are the ones I have heard referenced time and time again as life changing.
Well, you men are lucky, or maybe I should use the word blessed, because the opportunity for you to go on an Emmaus Retreat has presented itself. It is next month (dates October 17, 18, and 19) and it is nearby, at Inspiration Ministries, just outside of Fontana and Williams Bay, and is being put-on by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Harvard and St. Francis de Sales in Lake Geneva.
This is how the Emmaus Retreat is described by the sponsors:
Emmaus is a relaxed, passive retreat weekend designed for those men who feel they would like to explore a deeper relationship with God. Every one of us has considered the questions, “Does God really exist?” or “How should God’s existence affect my life?” Unfortunately we are all very busy and don’t allow ourselves enough time to explore the answers. That’s what the Emmaus retreat is for you. The men organizing and hosting the Emmaus retreat will not try to convince you of their answers; instead they will share their own experiences with you and let you draw your own conclusions. We are not men who were born Holy, and we have each led very different lives. But through the power of the Holy Spirit we have found our way back to the Lord and would like to tell you about this life changing experience. And for many of us, it was during an Emmaus Retreat that our hearts were touched by God.
3 days away from family and obligations may seem undo-able to you. But you should really stop and think before dismissing this opportunity. What if…you went?…you fed your soul?…you were a different man for the better in 3 days?…became closer to God? Aren’t those things more important than getting some things crossed off your to-do list? Maybe it is just what you need right now.
If you would like to get in touch with someone who has personally done an Emmaus Retreat, please contact me, I will have one of them give you his experience. To sign up now, download the application here.
If you have had an Emmaus Retreat experience, I’d love to hear your comments.
Parish Council Chair
St. Andrew Parish, Delavan